This is – along with your Spanish translation-the word you hear most at the poker tables when a fish links their project in the river or when you get bluffed. But it was undoubtedly during the 2007 WSOPE in London when this word was spoken with a much more significant burden.
At the Empire Casino in Leicester Square, an unknown online player from Norway was playing the largest poker tournament in Europe, with all her expectations placed on the £ 1 million prizes for the winner. On his way, young Welsh John Tabata. The most remarkable of all was not the 18-year-old Annette “Annette_15” Oberstar, but the fact that the one who was about to take the prize was a woman.
With both all-in players, the young Norwegian-who had imposed herself on the best poker players during the week of the tournament – showed her 7h 7s that gave her set in a board 7c 6c 5h. Tabatabai showed his 5s 6d at the same time as he uttered, almost like a lament, the four-letter word. The hand ended in victory in favor of Oberstar, who sat slowly in his chair, enjoying the historic moment. For the first time in a week, a tear slid down his cheek: he had changed poker forever.
The Rise of Women in Poker
Aside from the phenomenal success of Oberstar, there were clear indications that two things were happening.
First, there were more and more young players participating in the tournaments and getting good results, and second, more and more women were seen at the tables. Oberstar had spent years practicing online (hence his alias “Annette_15″), accumulating hands and experience.
Indeed, women were already standing out in the game when Oberstar became the youngest winner in the history of the Main Event. The best players in America were on television, playing high stakes and winning bracelets. But their victory marked a before and an after: more and more women were seen, more and more young and all of them shared the fact that they had accumulated a great experience playing online. So what factors influenced attracting more women to the tables? And will this be an upward trend? Let’s explore some of the reasons why we can expect new female hits in poker:
- More accessible poker games in pubs and clubs
- More women getting outstanding titles and awards
- Increased advertising on TV poker
- The appearance of female poker professionals on television.
The female participation is still low
But let us not be fooled by the figures for that year. What happened in 2012 could be a misinterpretation of the reality in which the participation of women in the Main Event of the WSOP is slightly decreased year after year. In 2014, of the 6,638 participants, only 3.9% were women.
That was the year of the Colossus tournament presentation– an event with an enrollment price of $ 565 that attracted more than 22,000 participants. Despite the recreational tone of the game, there was only 6% (about 1,500) of female participation.
888poker professional Jess Dawley comments that despite the situation, “it is still common to find intimidation and sexist comments at the tables by men.” However, outside the main event, the number of bracelets and prizes won by women is increasing.
Our second infographic shows that the best players each year bag larger amounts, while the number of players entering prize positions increases. At the same time, the average age of the WSOP winner’s decreases, from 48 years of 2006 to 38 years of 2015. Similarly, in tournaments other than the WSOP as the EPT, Victoria Coren-Mitchell has become the first person in history to win two titles on the EPT, while stars such as Liv Boeree also hold titles of EPT to his name.